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By 53 Vick
#6450
Hello everyone! My name is Mike and I'm brand new to the forum and upholstery. My project is the complete upholstery on a 1953 Ford Crestline Victoria. The car hasn't been registered since 1995 and I'm in the process of getting it back on the road again. I'm taking a break from working in the garage and moved indoors for the long Wisconsin winter.

I had reached out to a few interior shops for quotes and it was either very expensive or a long wait to have it done. I do not have an unlimited budget and decided to do the work myself. I have no experience with upholstery and know it will be a steep learning curve, but hope it will be worth the experience. I'm not building a trailer queen show car so perfection isn't the goal. I just want a nice driver.

When I bought the car, the interior was completely gutted, but all of the pieces were there. The interior was original and in surprisingly decent shape for it's age. The plan is to use the original interior as a template and replace all of the foam and coverings with new materials. I'm going to try to keep it as simple as I can, which may seem very boring to more experienced folks, and hoping to increase my chances of success.

Here are a few photos to show what I'm working with and some of the progress I've made. I placed some of the interior in place to get an idea of how it should look. I also added a more recent picture of the car to show the overall progress. My goal is to have an interior to install when the weather gets warmer next spring. I'm looking forward to the challenge and sharing the experience with you.
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preston.rea, John, miket and 1 others liked this
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By John
#6492
Beautiful car! Welcome to the forum @53 Vick !!!
Cant wait to see the progression. Thanks for sharing.
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By 53 Vick
#6514
I've been busy since the first post, but I wouldn't say a lot of progress has been made. Work has been slow since I'm new to all of this and have been taking my time. I'm probably over thinking most of this, but should go faster if I ever do another car.

Going back a little, the car obviously won't be going back to it's original condition, but I didn't want to go too extreme either. I'm going to copy the original interior design but change the materials. I won't be using leather on my budget, but found some vinyl that should work nice. I also found some fabric from Sailrite that I'll be using on the the seats and door panels. The carpet is a dark grey replacement for the car that I hope will fit correctly. I did buy some extra material for floor mats and to cover the trunk floor.

I thought I would start with a small project and recovered the arm rests first. Definitely wasn't as easy as John made it look in the video, but I finished them. I'm not 100% happy with the results although they don't look too bad for a beginner's first attempt in my opinion. I cut the reliefs around the curves/corners a little too close to the edge and you can see that. The material also didn't lay as flat as I would like around the curves/corners. I may redo them later if I just can't stand it. I'm afraid that I'll destroy the foam if I pull the new vinyl off and I haven't found new foam to replace them. There were like a million staples holding the old vinyl on and I only used glue. I'm wondering if I should go back and put staples in around the edges. I probably will in case the glue lets go over time.

Next project will be door panels. More pictures to follow as I make progress.

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By Cody
#6517
Welcome to the forum! I’m a bit late with that welcome but better late than never lol. Looks like a fun car to be working on.

You’re armrests turned out good. Unfortunately don’t be fooled by their size. Those actually aren’t the easiest things to start with. They involve heat and glue if you plan on using one piece. I like to add a seam to help everything be d easier. But you’re off to a good start.

Word of advice. When it comes to the seats. You can never have too many before hand pics to reference as you sew or assemble.
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By 53 Vick
#6538
It's been a busy weekend and I'm happy with the progress I've made. I finished up the left and right door cards. I haven't perfected my technique for wrapping material around corners, but I think they look good. I picked up a few valuable tips from John's videos that helped me out. I still need to polish up the stainless, but that will have to wait for later.

I'm moving on to the rear side panels. These will be a little more tricky I think and hoping to have them done by Christmas. I been taking a lot of pictures as I go for reference later. I disassembled one side and it was a little more involved than I thought. They are put together a little different than the front and held together with staples to the metal substrate. The ash tray in the armrest was also fighting me and I didn't want to wreck it taking it out. I will update with progress as I go.

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By John Long
#6542
Your door panels look good. There is one small "trick of the trade" that might help. If you cut your woven material on a 45* bias, you will not have to be concerned with it looking perfectly straight at the seam with the vinyl. The eye will not be able to follow the weave line along the seam.

John
53 Vick, John, cate.bolt liked this
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By 53 Vick
#6556
Thanks for the tip. I actually struggled with that and never even considered it before I started cutting out the material. I'm learning as I go. I did it the hard way this time. Thankfully, the pattern wasn't too difficult to cut in a straight line. I had to remove my glasses so I could get close enough to see what I was doing, but I got there. I'll probably do the rear panels the same way just for consistency. May be a different story when I get to the seats.
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By John Long
#6557
@53 Vick, I agree whole heartedly. I would not change in mid stream. I think it looks good. I did a 57 Oldsmobile and the door panels were part vinyl and part tweed and I ran into that situation.

We all learn every day for sure.

John
By 6inarow
#7841
I am liking this thread. Please keep updating it. Im a rookie too but would like to follow along. Nice car!!
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By 53 Vick
#9610
Well, I’ve run into my first major hurdle. I started planning this work several months ago and thought I had it figured out. I estimated the amount material I would need, added a plus factor in case I messed something up and ordered what I thought I would need. I came up just short on the gray vinyl I’m using. I thought I was being careful and trying to be efficient with the material, but in hindsight, I probably could have done a little better with the material considering the extra few inches I needed. I ordered some more gray vinyl and was disappointed when the color didn’t match. I was afraid ordering material that far apart would be from different batches or lots and not match color. I had saved all of my scrap material and found a piece that will work. It’s short, but the discrepancy will be hidden behind the back seat backrest and not visible when completed. The only things I have left to do are the kick panels with the gray and I have a plan to make that work. I don’t have enough material to cover them completely, but I think I can make something work. Definitely learned a lesson. I will be extra careful with the material I do have and plan my cuts to use it more efficiently. I’m also going to recalculate the other materials I have and make sure it’s enough.
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By 53 Vick
#9617
The rear side panels are done. They were a little more difficult than the front. I'm glad I used the old material as a template. There was a slight curve to the narrow piece under the arm rest and I would have thought it was a straight line. I'm pretty happy with the results. My top stitch is a little wavy. I had practiced that a few times, but still not perfect. I'll polish up the trim when it warms up. The 3 stars will also be added on the rear panel. I just didn't poke holes in the material yet. Moving onto the seats now. I disassembled the rear seat cushion and getting a material list together from how it was built up originally.

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By 53 Vick
#9627
Hello everyone. I'm looking for some advice/recommendations on the materials I should be using for my seat cushions and backrests. I've been watching several YouTube videos and reading through a couple of upholstery books I have and it seems there are 1000 different ways to do this. I'll be using the original cover as a template for the new cover I'm making so the material will need to fit under that.

The original build up was burlap with thin wire. I don't know the correct term and think it was used to prevent material from sinking between the springs. On top of the burlap was about 1 and 1/2 inches of what looked like cotton or wool batting. Not sure since it was a brown color. On top of that was a 1/2 inch of foam and then the cover. There was no scrim foam on the cover. I don't want to get too fancy and want to keep this as simple as possible, but we do plan on taking longer road trips when the car is done so comfort is a consideration. So far I have two ideas for build up.

Method 1 - Sticking to original design. Use burlap and the wire over the seat springs. 1 and 1/2 inches of cotton batting over the top of that and 1/2 inch foam on top. Install seat cover over the top.

Method 2 - Vinyl over the seat frame with no wires used. Hog ring it to the frame so it stays in place. I'm guessing that the vinyl is firm enough to prevent the foam cushion from sinking into the springs. Build up a 2 inch think foam pad as John did in his seat video using 1 inch thick pieces glued together. Firmer on bottom and softer on top. Install seat cover over the top.

I'm guessing that method 2 would be the most preferred method, but looking for any advice to help. I also have a couple of questions. I've seen plenty of videos that use jute material. Should I be considering that material in my build up? Should the jute go between the vinyl and the foam on method 2 build up? Next question is about scrim foam. Should I be sewing this to the back of my covers? Let me know if there's anything I'm forgetting and thanks for any input.
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By John Long
#9628
I have used John's method on my seat for the '53 Bel Air. I will be adding some more foam for bolsters and installing some listings for more shape. I will not use batting unless there is a small pucker that needs a little help. At that point a little batting can be added.

John
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